WMU News

Workshop focuses on improving diverse relationships

May 16, 2002

KALAMAZOO -- Area health care professionals are invited to attend a conference on "Healing Our Community Through Relationship Building" from 7:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Wednesday, May 29, in the Fetzer Center at Western Michigan University.

The workshop will address diversity in the work place as well as the community and focus on building skills that can help health care professionals create positive, caring relationships among themselves and the clients they serve.

It is being sponsored by WMU's Bronson School of Nursing and costs $25, including lunch. The event will begin at 7:30 a.m. with registration and refreshments and a brief welcome by Dr. Marie Gates, director of the Bronson School of Nursing. Keynote speaker for the conference will be Dr. Cynthia Barnes-Boyd, assistant dean for community initiatives in the College of Nursing at the University of Illinois-Chicago and a registered nurse with a doctoral degree in nursing science.

Boyd is a nationally and internationally published consultant who has lectured extensively on issues related to health, post-neonatal mortality, cultural diversity and management. Her research has included studies addressing social and cultural contributors to infant mortality, service utilization barriers, cultural alienation and health problems of importance to racioethnic groups.

The workshop will feature the following speakers and breakout sessions:

Cynthia Barnes-Boyd, 8:30 to 10:30 a.m., "Cultural Diversity from Philosophy to Practice," an examination of key challenges and opportunities in developing and managing culturally diverse teams;

Larry Plamondon, storyteller, 11 a.m. to noon, "Health in the Native American Community";

Von and Fran Washington of Washington Productions, 1 to 1:45 p.m., "Let the Brotha Talk," a theatrical presentation clarifying issues related to African American males;

Kennet Santana, 1:45 to 2:30 p.m., "Que Pasa!," a look at Latino health issues and ways to deepen healing through understanding the culture of Latin people; and

Cynthia Barnes-Boyd, 3 to 4 p.m., "Practical Strategies to Increase Understanding and Competent Practice," a presentation of practical suggestions and examples related to how knowledge of cultural differences may be applied in areas such as communication, management, policy development and education.

For more information or to register for "Healing Our community Through Relationship Building," contact WMU's Conferences and Seminars office at (269) 387-4174.

Media contact: Jeanne Baron, 269 387-8400, jeanne.baron@wmich.edu

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